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May Arrest Mr. Vanderbilt

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  William K. Vanderbilt Jr.

May Arrest Mr. Vanderbilt

The New York Times
June 8, 1900

He Runs Down a Child - Mayor of Newport Threatens Him for Fast Locomobile Driving

Special to the New York Times

NEWPORT, June 7 - Rumors of complaints regarding the speed which William K. Vanderbilt, Jr., has been driving his locomobile through this city have been heard for the past three days, but nothing official has been done by the local authorities until to-day, when Frederick Sheldon, one of the prominent cottagers, called upon Mayor Boyle and lodged a complaint against Mr. Vanderbilt, for the speed with which he passed through the city this morning.  According to his complaint, he had a narrow escape from being badly injured.  Mr. Sheldon demanded that something should be done to prevent Mr. Vanderbilt from driving his machine at the speed he has been going, and after fully explaining the circumstances, he drove home satisfied.

Later Mr. Vanderbilt chanced to meet the Mayor and his Honor threatened him with arrest if he persisted in racing his locomobile through the streets of Newport.

This afternoon Mr. Vanderbilt came from the Herreshoff works at Bristol, landing at the Bristol ferry, where his locomobile was in waiting and, with a party of guests, drove into Newport with his usual speed.

Later as Mr. Vanderbilt was passing along the lower part of Thames street in a runabout automobile a little girl, who attempted to run across the roadway, was struck by one wheel and was thrown to the ground.  Mr. Vanderbilt immediately stopped, the automobile and jumping to the roadway quickly picked the child up in his arms and held it until the mother arrived.

The child apparently was not injured, and after handing her over to her mother Mr. Vanderbilt informed the parent that any medical attention or care the child might need, as a result of the accident, would be furnished at his expense.

The farmers in Middletown are considerably worked up over the rapid speed with which W. K. Vanderbilt, Jr., passed through that town a few days ago with his "lightning machine," as it has been named in the rural districts, and the Council will hold a special meeting to regulate the speed of such carriages.

The Ordinance Committee of the City Council of Newport will hold a special meeting to-morrow afternoon to take action in regard to the speed rate and other matters pertaining to the regulation of automobiles in Newport.



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